Lalith gets warm welcome
VIJAYAWADA, August 18, 2014
Updated: August 18, 2014 00:37 IST

Jetlag notwithstanding, Grandmaster M.R. Lalith Babu, after his triumphant return from Norway helping India win it’s first-ever Olympiad medal, took pains to explain everyone including the media about the significance of the win.

“This is a historic moment for India. This triumph is similar to winning a medal in the Olympics. We, without top players like Viswanathan Anand and Pendyala Harikrishna, were able to win a medal. Barring GM Sasikiran, the other four lacked experience,” said Lalith Babu. He said the game would get a fillip in the country with the podium finish effort.

Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte and Women Grandmaster Soumya Swaminathan, who were here to attend World No.3 women chess player Koneru Humpy’s wedding reception, said that the victory was a defining moment in the Indian chess history.

“The field was tough as more number of breakaway countries from Soviet Russia were taking part. Since the collapse of the Soviet regime, several talented European nations are making their mark in the world of chess. In fact in every edition the quality of play is getting better and better at the Olympiad,” he pointed out.

WGM Soumya Swaminathan said India finishing ahead of Russia, Armenia and other higher-rated countries was noteworthy. She also hailed the role of the coach as he was the one who decided the combination.

Incidentally, Kunte was part of the Indian team that took part in the Olympiad for four times from 1998 to 2004.

Lalith’s coach Murali Krishna, who trained him in the formative years, congratulated his ward.


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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